Champ House is a transitional therapeutic program for men who admittedly suffer from addiction to drugs and alcohol. Since 1990, the organization has been providing housing, counseling, and other recovery services to individuals referred by various courts, health departments and other community–based and religious institutions. The program was started by the late Paul Champagne who began helping recovering addicts by working out of his own home. The nonprofit purchased the property outright in 2014.
With the United States and the state of Maryland in the midst of an opioid overdose epidemic, Champ House has seen an increased demand for their services. Up to 15 men are able to reside at Champ House where they are provided the opportunity to regain control of their lives. It serves as a sober living house for patients leaving detox or a rehabilitation program who are not quite ready to begin living on their own again. The minimum stay is 30 days.
Home Builders Care first learned of the needs of Champ House back in 2016, when the group reached out to HBCF with a simple request – it needed a new roof on its primary residential building, a domed structure with extensive shingling. After HBCF replaced the roof, it was just the beginning. Much more repair and replacement work needed to be done. It was a question of where to start. A professional was needed to help determine what property improvements should be targeted with some anticipated funding.
Enter Bozzuto Homes and its Director of Warranty Service, Jeff Cellio, whose expertise was called into service at the request of Bozutto Homes President Tom Baum.
Jeff initiated his company’s involvement by joining HBCF Director Patti Kane on a preliminary site visit to help Champ House prioritize their list of needed repairs following the roof. But soon after making his assessment and learning more about Champ House, Jeff encouraged the Bozutto Homes team to adopt some of the work themselves. Now 18 months later, a lot has happened under that roof.
Starting in early 2017, the Bozzuto team began work to transform the garage into a rec room for the 15 men in residence. The garage was centrally located on the property and had long been an informal gathering area for the men. But the gathering area was simply a sofa and a few chairs sitting on a concrete floor next to a motorcycle and some lawn equipment. To make it more suitable, the team took out the existing garage door and substituted it with new framing, siding, a sliding glass door and 2 windows.A few weeks later, crews from one of Bozzuto’s contractors, DeVere Insulation, arrived to install a donation of insulation for the basement, the garage areas, as well as the meeting room and lower house.
Tom Baum shared the good news of what was happening. “Jeff and Greg have shown some real initiative with helping out Champ House and have gotten Devere Insulation on board to reinsulate the house free of charge. Beyond the roof work that was done previously, getting the insulation installed was a critical next step in the process of getting the place up to a habitable condition.”
After this initial work, other teams came next, often working alongside the men of Champ House. With both in-kind donations and some new capital funding sources, they replaced siding, poured new concrete, built a new deck, reframed spaces and added drywall, replaced windows and doors, upgraded electric and plumbing and are building a new bathroom. Overhauling the kitchen is probably next.
Jeff Cellio commented on the project, “It is absolutely our pleasure to help out with such a dynamic program. The impact that the Champ House has on these resident’s lives is profound; we are honored to be a small part of such a life-changing process. DeVere Insulation shares Bozzuto’s Core Value of Concern for the Communities we Touch, and we are extremely lucky to have trade partners who are so willing to give of their time and resources.”
Thank you Bozzuto Homes for helping make Champ House a more safe, functional and dignified place to heal. Your work is important not only for the men recovering from addictions and crises, but also for their families, caregivers and friends.